Dean Martin RBorn in 1955 in Menziken, Switzerland. Following his A Levels, Martin travelled extensively, to the Caribbean, Portugal, Italy and Greece, with extended stays in the South of France and frequent visits to Paris. He studied German, Ethnology and Philosophy at Basel University, where he graduated. Since 1982 he published over a dozen books, novels, essays, memoirs and textbooks, and received many prizes and awards. He is a teacher at a secondary school in Muttenz near Basel. From 2009 to 2016 Martin taught creative writing at Schweizerisches Literaturinstitut in Biel and at Literaturhaus Basel.

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Atlantis Literaturverlag
(March 2023)
216 pp


Robert has long been a father himself when, at forty, he sets out to meet his biological father for the first time. He had always imagined a dazzling fairy-tale figure with a silver cane, but now he finds himself face to face with Ray in a London asylum, a frail poor man who has lost his speech. So Robert now has two fathers - and at the same time none, because his stepfather Neil, who like Ray is from Trinidad, was also never really tangible while he was growing up in Switzerland. All the more reason for Robert to finally fill in the holes in his biography and travel to Trinidad with the old Ray. Until recently he didn't even have a biological father, but suddenly a thousand new relatives appear. But they only add to the mystery, and show Robert the deep divisions of the former British colony. And then Neil reappears on the scene in Trinidad.
In "My Fathers," Martin R. Dean places the search for one's roots in the context of colonial history. In this captivatingly narrated novel, doubts and ironic moments of self-questioning flash up again and again: Are ancestry, skin color and biological similarity really of existential importance?



Atlantis Literaturverlag
(March 2022)
235 pp


An accident brings two friends together again after years: the doctor Florian Füssli and the artist Samuel Butt, who is paralysed after a fall. Florian wants to lift his friend up and at the same time understand the reasons for their estrangement. While Samuel searches between exuberance and despair for a meaning in continuing to live, the dutiful Florian torments himself with self-reproaches. Both circle each other with questions: Why has Samuel failed as an artist? Has he really failed? Why hasn't Florian found happiness in love? How much is a "half life" worth? And what does that mean anyway? How does one deal with loss? And what actually happened back in Rome? On a trip to Portugal, everything breaks open. And the next step can mean doom or salvation. A Piece of Heaven asks existential questions about friendship and love, life and death, about the benefits and limits of modern medicine - a novel that is as oppressive as it is light-footed, with a startling showdown.

 Angélique Beldner, Martin R. Dean, Der Sommer, in dem ich Schwarz wurde


Current Affairs
Atlantis Literaturverlag (September 2021)
190 pp


In The Summer I Turned Black, Martin R. Dean joins television personality Angélique Beldner in a search for a language in which to speak about and against racism. Against the backdrop of their biographies, they ask crucial questions: Where does Switzerland stand on the issue of racism? What perspectives, what attitudes are there? What is at stake and for whom? Angélique Beldner and Martin R. Dean's conversations are an invitation to everybody to listen, to look, and to question their own positions.



Jung & Jung (March 2019)
ca. 360 pp


While celebrating their twentieth wedding anniversary, Irma and Marc learn that their son is having an affair with Irma's best friend. This puts a strain on the marriage, also because Marc is hiding a secret that is weighing heavier and heavier on him. When his small architect's office is beginning to struggle and Irma refuses to help him out, the rupture can't be avoided. Marc flees. But from what and where to? And what does Irma have to hope for?

The relationships of the other couples in their circle of friends are strained as well. What keeps them together? Love, habit, competition, even enmity? Many years before they had started a 'laboratory of the future' in an old hotel on the edge of town. But none of them believes in a future anymore when all certainties in the wider world are crumbling. Each one on his or her own seeks an answer to the question: Why are we together? And with whom?

Martin R. Dean Verbeugung vor Spiegeln

Über das Eigene und das Fremde

Jung & Jung (2015)

France: Les Editions de Circé

On the Proper and the Foreign

You would think that the foreign is everywhere. There's hardly a subject in the news or in private conversations that is as hotly debated as the foreign: how to ward it off, how to regulate it, how to integrate it. Born in Switzerland to a father from Trinidad, Martin R. Dean knows what this debate feels like and has made it the subject of many of his novels. In this volume of essays, Dean describes being foreign as a radical form of self-awareness. Tracing his own transformation, he is looking to understand how foreignness in life and in literature made him who he is. And he comes to a surprising conclusion: The foreign, the essential capital of the modern world, is about to disappear in the processes of globalisation. To win it back, we must insist on keeping the foreign foreign - we have to endure it. And we have to give up trying to get it out ready.